Nestled in the Coachella Valley of California, the desert resort of Palm Springs is not just a town, it is seen by some as a metaphor for how to live life. Its mere name evokes imagery of Slim Aarons pool parties, retro styling and endless vapid leisure. Hollywood found a sister location in this resort and was drawn to its shared values of celebrity, health, new wealth and sex. Like filmmakers before me, I homed in on 1950s styling as I sensed that this was the era that defined the post-war growth of the resort. I had the Ferrari and the police cars, and from the first day of scouting in Palm Springs, we knew our street location and our timing of roughly one hour after sunrise. Our lead was the celebrated Alessandra Ambrosia, the super-smart Brazilian model who can play any role ascribed to her. Who knows who is being arrested in the background, but it doesn’t look like it’s particularly interfering with her morning. This photograph is deliberately saturated in colour to evoke the gauzy, saccharine pleasures of the town. Is it really paradise or is it a parody of itself?